Even the Buddha Got Stuck

PrayerFlags

We all have our moments of stuck-ness. Or weeks. Or months. We come in and out of it….of being in the flow and so connected in so many ways, creating magic….and then other times we feel like we can’t manage to even pull ourselves out of bed, or decide what to eat for breakfast.

When we find ourselves “stuck”…it’s so easy to beat ourselves up about it wondering what we did wrong. What we did or didn’t do, should have done differently….what are we missing? We do we keep falling out of it? Why aren’t we “succeeding”?

But the bottom line is, we’re exactly where we need to be. It may not feel like it at the moment. We may not understand why circumstances are what they are.

The universe knows. It know better than us, it has our back, ALWAYS. Unfortunately, some growth happens to feel painful or difficult. But we don’t have to make the pain worse by adding our own self-bashing into it.

We have to remember to allow ourselves some grace. We are human beings, complicated creatures here to learn many lessons. And we will have ample opportunities to learn them, over and over! It’s time to allow ourselves to be human, feel our feels, find a spark of insight, and then move on.

To remember to treat ourselves the same way we would treat a little child who is trying so hard, and having a hard time. To give ourselves a break. Nurture our own little inner-child-selves and say “It’s okay. You’re doing great! Just pick yourself up and start again”.

To remember sometimes we just have to take a moment and STOP. And BREATHE. And BE. Nothing more than that. Because in that moment of pause is where the insight comes, where the clarity comes. Maybe just a tiny little glimpse of something, but a little something in the right direction. In the direction of inner peace, of happiness, of JOY.

To remember to surround ourselves with other people on this same journey. Positive people who can uplift us and remind us of who we really are. To reach out to them and say “Hey! I need a boost.” Or to find a way to regularly spend time with people who will help us stay in our higher vibration.

So remember…you are okay. You are more than okay. You are magical and amazing and on the verge of even more greatness than you could have imagined. You are evolving and growing and that in and of itself is the most important work you can do.

So don’t sweat the “stucks”.  They aren’t really “stucks”. They are pauses for expansion and greatness. Allow them, welcome them, learn from them.

Dance them out…

Sweat them out…

Yell them out…

MOVE THEM OUT.

Get your groove flowing again.

And trust…

You’ve got this.

 

Questionable Carnivals

carnival

Motherhood

Today we went to one of those questionable carnivals…you know what I’m talking about, right? The ones you go to, pay for a wrist band so your kid can ride everything a zillion times, then you take a look at the rides and you question their safety? You constantly wonder if the screws holding the pieces that are holding you were tightened all the way? And if you’re going to enjoy the ride or plummet to your death? Yeah, one of those carnivals.

My son is a thrill seeker, he loves all the rides. The faster, the crazier, the better. Which is great because I (still, mostly) love roller coasters and thrill rides myself. But my husband, not so much. So this carnival was fun, I won’t lie. But as I’m getting older, and have become a mom myself…well, I kind of (sometimes) see things from a different perspective now. And since I still love rides, or rather I can still stomach them (and my husband cannot), I’m the lucky one who gets to join my son when we see that sign: “YOU MUST BE AT LEAST 48″ TALL OR BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT“. Because unfortunately right now, his stature doesn’t quite measure up to his daring.

So on days like these, when I get to share these moments with my son, I jump at the opportunity. Someday, he will be tall enough to go solo. Someday, he won’t want his mommy sitting next to him laughing her head off with him. Someday he will want his girlfriend sitting next to him, and I won’t even get invited to the carnival. So for today, spinning-metal-car-of-vomit-and-death it is.

The truth is, we were both truly laughing so hard the entire time we were on it, we both may have peed our pants just a little bit. And he’s five.  Right now he thinks me laughing out loud, especially when I’m pretending to be scared (I was NOT REALLY SCARED! Merely beginning to get just a little queasy…), is the funniest thing ever on the planet. So we spun, and laughed, and laughed, and gasped for breath, and spun some more…until the ride finally (safely) ended.

When we returned to where my husband was standing, gratefully, on solid non-spinning ground, he said, “I got a great picture of you guys” and showed me this shot. Immediately it reminded me of motherhood…what it feels like so many times….how as mothers we fluctuate constantly between being terrified and laughing our asses off, worrying if we’re totally screwing them up, or reveling in the fact that we are doing an amazing job of raising our tiny humans.  I especially love how happy and carefree my son looks in this moment. He looks like the wise sage who is wordlessly saying, “RELAX woman, and enjoy the ride! Can’t you see how easy that is?” I also realize and appreciate how, in a different situation (or in a different moment of the very same situation), our faces may just as easily have had the opposite expressions.

And that’s the beauty of raising a child. We learn as much from them as they do from us. If we allow ourselves to, that is.

Spin on, mamas, spin on.

“You’re a Do-what?”

It seems like even with the current evolution of the birth world- with documentaries like “The Business of Being Born” and “Born in the USA” becoming quite well known, and more women choosing home births or seeking out birth centers, you hear more and more about “alternative” birth practices and birth-related terms. Home births, water births, unassisted births, midwives, doulas, placenta encapsulation, placenta smoothies….these are all terms that are now quite common. Well, at least you’ve probably heard the terms before, even if you don’t know exactly what they all mean. And quite possibly, if you’re not pregnant (or planning to become pregnant….or if you’re a male) you might not want to know what some of these terms mean.

But…..for me, if I had a dollar for every time I still heard “You’re a doo- whaaaat?” when I say I’m  a doula…..well, let’s just say I’d be typing this blog post from aboard my yacht as I sip on a tropical cocktail by the pool, while the cabana boy who bears a striking resemblance to Chris Hemsworth rubs sunscreen on my body (please note, I’m not on-call in this fantasy). Because, well, let’s face it, the reality is many people don’t really know what exactly a doula is (although they might think they do, or they don’t want to admit that they don’t). Heck, I work closely with two home-birth midwives that have had clients who have already hired them and aren’t sure what the difference between a doula and a midwife is. Not to mention the misconception that if you hire a doula, it must mean you are planning to birth at home in flower-petal filled water, singing “Kumbaya” wearing nothing but a wreath on  your head, while burning sage and chanting mantras in ancient dialects. And while I think that sounds AMAZING and I’d love to attend that birth, that’s just not the case. Most of the time, the women who most benefit from having a doula are those birthing in a hospital setting, with a traditional OB as their care provider. Because birth can be “complicated” within that setting, with many opposing forces coming into play along the way.

The word doula is of Greek origin and means “woman who serves”. But please, allow me to break it down for you further. Here it is, in language everyone can understand- what a doula is and what a doula is not. Or rather, what a doula does and doesn’t /shouldn’t do.

A doula…

…provides physical, informational, and emotional support.

That means we help you identify what comfort measures work best for you to alleviate the physical discomforts associated with pregnancy and birth. That could mean massage, hot/cold packs, different positions for laboring women to move into to get the baby in the best position for birth,  music, affirmations, visualizations, meditations, etc. We are there to help you navigate throughout your birth using all of these and more, silently recognizing when something that was working great is no longer effective, and we gracefully guide you to a new suggestion.

It means we help you get whatever evidence-based information you need in order to help you make the best decisions for your family and your birth. Whether it is helping you to communicate effectively with your care provider what your wishes & hopes are; helping you to listen to their responses and to determine if you feel heard, understood and respected; giving you links to information on a procedure or intervention that is being recommended; giving you community resources for other types of practitioners throughout your pregnancy , birth and postpartum that may be helpful; taking your phone calls at 2 am when you are wondering “Is this normal?” when you are wide awake at night because you are worried, and tired, and haven’t been able to find a comfortable sleeping position in MONTHS, and just want to ask that question but you don’t want to call your care provider and seem silly or overcautious.

It means emotionally, we are present and there for you at all times, without judgement or an agenda. When your family members are questioning your decisions and your choices. When your fears leading up to birth become overwhelming. When the time FINALLY comes and you are in the thick of it and you get to the point where you don’t think you can do it anymore. We are there to hold your hand, wipe your brow, look you in the eye and remind you that you CAN do this, you will do this, you are doing this.

A doula does not:

  • perform ANY clinical tasks such as taking your blood pressure, performing vaginal exams, checking fetal heart tones, etc.
  • make any decisions for you. We help you to get the information necessary to make informed decisions, both during pregnancy as well as during your labor and delivery. We also remind you if there is a departure from your original birth preferences.
  • speak to the staff or care providers on your behalf. We will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, and tactfully help you & your partner speak to the staff directly and feel empowered to make decisions regarding your birth.

As doulas, we are simply there for you. We hold space. We are your ally, your partner, your sister, your mother, your coach and your friend all rolled up into one during that magical time of pregnancy and birth. And we are grateful and honored to be able to serve you and be a witness to your miracle.

Please feel free to share this with anyone who might benefit from better understanding what a doula is. If you would like any more information specifically about the services I provide, please contact me at martha@zenmamalove, or visit my webpage, www.zenmamalove.com.

Birth Meme